Thursday, June 22, 2006

Symphonic Potential

Jeff Mills is one of the pioneers who helped form the foundation of techno in Detroit back in the 80's as one of the first dj's to spin minimal techno, notably appearing on the influential Detroit radio show hosted by The Electrifying Mojo. Mills went on to become a member of Underground Resistance with a career that has spanned decades as he has added label owner to his resume while continuing to create mix albums and produce music under his own name.

"Blue Potential" is his latest release which finds Mills revisiting his back catalogue with the help of the Montpellier Philharmonic Orchestra in an impressive orchestral and techno fusion. This is the sort of the things that when done wrong can be unlistenable cheese like the "Acid Brass" compilation, but fortunately this is done with high minded artistry of Aphex Twin's Philip Glass collaboration. Pet Shop Boys "Battleship Potemkin" is another reference point, and one would wonder if there wasn't some influence given both works had premiers as free concerts. I'd wager on it but Mills beat PSB to the punch by following in the footsteps of Giorgio Moroder with his own score to a silent film.

Some of "Blue Potential" can be streamed here or enjoy this teaser of the DVD:

: On a related note minimal and Detroit techno fans in the Bay Area should rejoice because Mr. Goodwrench, who hosted "Just Desserts" on KFJC in the mid-90's, has returned to the airwaves. His series of profiles and interviews with Detroit techno producers introduced me to Jeff Mills, with a memorable interview discussing Mills' "30 to 50 records within an hour" mix technique, as he brought a unique point of view and an appreciated intelligence to the college airwaves. Those out of town can tune in 12-3 Saturday night/Sunday morning PST at the station's website.

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